Fear and Learning: From Basic Processes to Clinical Implications

Pages: 319
Item #: 4318034
ISBN: 978-1-59147-414-2
List Price: $19.95
Member/Affiliate Price: $19.95
Copyright: 2006
Format: Hardcover
Availability: In Stock
FREE Shipping

For individuals in the U.S. & U.S. territories


Although fear plays an important role in human development, adaptation, and, ultimately, survival, fear can be disabling when it manifests itself as a phobia or an anxiety disorder. Effective treatment for fear-based disorders depends upon the basic science that informs theories about the origins of fear and about how fear is learned.

This book brings together the most recent empirical developments in learning theory for understanding the etiology and treatment of fears and phobias. The editors have assembled contributions from leading scientists whose work represents the cutting edge in such areas as measurement methodology, neurobiology, cognitive processing, behavioral models, emotion regulation, and pharmacological and other clinical treatments. After a review of the history of fear learning and basic concepts and methods in fear measurement, subsequent chapters elucidate processes of acquisition and maintenance of fear, finally moving to the extinction, renewal, and reinstatement of fear.

The research synthesized in this book has applicability to the entire spectrum of anxiety disorders, including obsessive-compulsive disorder, social anxiety disorder, and specific phobias.

Table of Contents




Introduction: Etiological Factors of Fears and Phobias
—Michelle G. Craske, Debora Vansteenwegen, and Dirk Hermans

I. Fear and Learning: Basic Issues

  1. Fear Conditioning and Clinical Implications:What Can We Learn From the Past?
    —Paul Eelen and Bram Vervliet
  2. Human Fear Learning: Contemporary Procedures and Measurement
    —Ottmar V. Lipp

II. Acquisition and Maintenance of Fear

  1. Defenses and Memories: Functional Neural Circuitry of Fear and Conditional Responding
    —Jennifer J. Quinn and Michael S. Fanselow
  2. Contemporary Learning Theory Perspectives on the Etiology of Fears and Phobias
    —Susan Mineka and Jon Sutton
  3. Cognitive Mechanisms in Fear Acquisition and Maintenance
    —Graham C. L. Davey
  4. Fear and Avoidance: An Integrated Expectancy Model
    —Peter Lovibond
  5. Fear Conditioning in an Emotion Regulation Context: A Fresh Perspective on the Origins of Anxiety Disorders
    —John P. Forsyth, Georg H. Eifert, and Velma Barrios

III. Extinction, Renewal, and Reinstatement of Fear

  1. Anatomical, Molecular, and Cellular Substrates of Fear Extinction
    —Mark Barad
  2. Counteracting the Context-Dependence of Extinction: Relapse and Tests of Some Relapse Prevention Methods
    —Mark E. Bouton, Amanda M. Woods, Erik W. Moody, Ceyhun Sunsay, and Ana García-Gutiérrez
  3. Renewal and Reinstatement of Fear: Evidence From Human Conditioning Research
    —Debora Vansteenwegen, Trinette Dirikx, Dirk Hermans, Bram Vervliet, and Paul Eelen
  4. Exposure Therapy and Extinction: Clinical Studies
    —Michelle G. Craske and Jayson L. Mystkowski

IV: Final Thoughts

Fear and Learning: Debates, Future Research and Clinical Implications
—Dirk Hermans, Deborah Vansteenwegen, and Michelle G. Craske


Author Index

Subject Index

About the Editors

Editor Bios

Michelle G. Craske, PhD, is professor of psychology and director of the Anxiety Disorders Behavioral Research Program at the University of California in Los Angeles. She has published widely on the topics of fear and anxiety disorders, their etiology, assessment, and treatment. She has been the recipient of continuous National Institute of Mental Health funding since 1991 for research projects pertaining to risk factors for phobias, anxiety disorders, and depression; attentional biases and psychophysiological fear responding; the translation of basic science of fear extinction to human phobias; and the development and dissemination of treatments for anxiety and related disorders.

Dr. Craske is associate editor for the Journal of Abnormal Psychology and Behaviour Research and Therapy and is a scientific board member for the Anxiety Disorders Association of America.

Dirk Hermans, PhD, is professor of psychology and director of the Center for the Psychology of Learning and Experimental Psychopathology in the Department of Psychology at the University of Leuven in Leuven, Belgium. He is director of postgraduate training in cognitive–behavioral therapy at his university. He has published widely in peer-reviewed journals on topics of affective processing as well as learning and memory processes in anxiety and emotional disorders. His most recent research covers the study of evaluative learning in human aversive conditioning, mechanisms of extinction and reinstatement in human fear conditioning, and the use of reaction time procedures in the assessment of fear learning.

Dr. Hermans is associate editor of Cognition & Emotion and the British Journal of Clinical Psychology and is a member of the editorial board for Experimental Psychology.

Debora Vansteenwegen, PhD, is the research director of the Psychophysiology Laboratory at the Center for the Psychology of Learning and Experimental Psychopathology in the Department of Psychology at the University of Leuven in Leuven, Belgium. She has published in peer-reviewed journals on the topic of human fear conditioning and emotional learning. Her main focus of research is emotional learning and human fear conditioning. Most recently she has investigated the processes of extinction, return of fear after extinction, and contextual conditioning in human conditioning studies as well as in clinical samples.

Dr. Vansteenwegen is a senior member of the educational board of the Dutch Institute for Research and Postgraduate Education on Experimental Psychopathology.

Reviews & Awards
Read a review of this title from the PsycCRITIQUES® database (PDF, 35KB)

Purchase access to PsycCRITIQUES, APA's searchable database of book reviews in psychology, delivering approximately 20 current reviews each week.